GEC-Marconi Rafi B8-C integrated trackball keyboard (Rafi RS 76 M switches)

Aran.E99

05 Nov 2019, 16:06

Hi everyone, sorry for my recent inactivity. I've been busy with uni and sadly haven't come by interesting keyboards or so I thought until I bought this interesting specimen. It contains Rafi RS 76 M switches which are full travel mechanical contact. They don't feel awful but they have a mushy and inconsistent feel.
top.jpg
top.jpg (1.33 MiB) Viewed 405 times
bottom.jpg
bottom.jpg (1.57 MiB) Viewed 405 times
rear-label.jpg
rear-label.jpg (1.41 MiB) Viewed 405 times
GEC-Marconi were a supplier of defense electronics (defunct ~20 years ago this month). Both the N.S.N. and M.O.D record confirm this was military however I doubt it was used because of how clean it is.
keycap.jpg
keycap.jpg (1.12 MiB) Viewed 405 times
the keycaps are nice ABS doubleshots but have a very odd profile.
trackball.jpg
trackball.jpg (1.14 MiB) Viewed 405 times
I unfortunately can't use the trackball because it uses a serial port although the main keyboard has a 5 pin din and is compatible with PC.

Internals
Spoiler:
case-stamp.jpg
case-stamp.jpg (983.51 KiB) Viewed 405 times
Case was manufactured in '94. The CPU appears to have been made in (I think) '98.
pcb-rear.jpg
pcb-rear.jpg (1.58 MiB) Viewed 405 times
pcb-top.jpg
pcb-top.jpg (1.52 MiB) Viewed 405 times
pcb-daughter-board.jpg
pcb-daughter-board.jpg (1.34 MiB) Viewed 405 times
Interesting little daughter board which attaches with a push fit connector.
switch-pink.jpg
switch-pink.jpg (1.07 MiB) Viewed 405 times
I believe this variant of switch is the integrated diode version. The spacebar uses a heavier orange switch and caps lock uses a white switch with integrated green LED (I actually thought it was an odd ALPS board because of the caps lock)
Overall it's a basic but decent keyboard. I wouldn't use this often but the switches and military history make it a nice collectors piece.

Post Reply

Return to “Gallery”